Tuesday, April 08, 2003
The Associated Press is reporting that “senior House Democrats” are asking the GAO to examine government “contracts awarded to Halliburton Company over the past two years.
Halliburton's KBR subsidiary has a record of gouging the government in contracts awarded without competition, Reps. Henry Waxman of California and John Dingell of Michigan contended in a letter to the General Accounting Office…The lawmakers said federal procurement data showed that the government awarded KBR work worth more than $624 million from October 2000 through March 2002.
The lawmakers cited these previous problems with KBR, formerly Kellogg, Brown & Root:
-A GAO finding in 1997 that the company billed the Army for questionable expenses for work in the Balkans, including charges of $85.98 per sheet of plywood that cost $14.06.
-A year 2000 follow-up report on the Balkans work that found inflated costs, including charges for cleaning some offices up to four times a day.
-$2 million in fines paid in February 2002, to resolve fraud claims involving work at Fort Ord, Calif. The Defense Department inspector general and a federal grand jury had investigated allegations by a former employee that KBR defrauded the government of millions of dollars by inflating prices for repairs and maintenance.
The Securities and Exchange Commission already is investigating Halliburton's accounting practices, looking into an accounting change made in 1998, during Cheney's tenure as CEO.
Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the lawmakers have ignored the exemplary record of the Houston-based firm that employed Cheney as chief executive officer from 1995 to 2000 and still pays him deferred compensation for his services during that period."